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ANATOMY OF A STANDARD

"Nice Work If You Can Get It" by George and Ira Gershwin

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George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin represent a quintessential songwriting team laying claim to several early masterpieces included in what we now call the Great American Songbook. Representing the epitome of the “Jazz Age," they worked together from 1924-1937, creating no fewer than twenty-five full musical scores for performance in Hollywood and on the Great White Way. One of their many undisputed standards, “Nice Work If You Can Get It," beautifully balances clever lyrics with an interesting interplay of melodic and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jorn Swart: Malnoia

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The debut from Dutch pianist Jorn Swart--A Day In The Life Of Boriz (Mainland Records, 2013)--presented music with an eccentric tilt crafted by a fairly conventional quartet. This sophomore date continues along an offbeat path, delivering an incredibly absorbing collection of curious curios, but it does so with a less-than-conventional instrumental line-up in place. Malnoia turns the idea of the piano trio on its head. Swart forgoes the hustle and bustle of drums and the ballast of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Possibilites: Get 'Em

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The saxophone/bass/drums grouping--at one time a rarity--seems to be undergoing a renewal of sorts. Drummer Rudy Royston offered up a fine example of the genre with Rise Of Orion (Greenleaf Music, 2016). Saxophonist JD Allen dove deep into the blues on Americana (Savant Records, 2016), and sax man Jason Rigby presented a breakout effort on the marvelous One (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2016). Now it's the group Possibilities' turn, with Get 'Em. Saxophonist Tim Bennett can ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian Adler: Radioactive Landscapes EP

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As was evident on his previous EP releases from 2016, Binary and Mysteries of the Deep, percussionist Brian Adler enjoys working with conceptual frameworks for his compositions. On Binary, he explored the possible interactions between human-and computer-based creativity, and on Mysteries he drew thematic inspiration from the world of Eastern spirituality. These investigations allowed him to explore his intersecting interests in a range of musical styles and genres, not to mention instrumentation, with Indian percussion and classical forms utilized within ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss & Point of Departure: Wake Up Call

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Trumpeter David Weiss incorporates a heavy-duty guitar assault into this exhilarating program designed with a diverse track-list, comprised of originals by jazz luminaries Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, John McLaughlin and Tony Williams among others. The trumpeter's Point of Departure ensemble generates a neo-jazz fusion panorama, coupled with an emphatic integration of progressive jazz amid references to bop and a few excursions into the outside realm. Besides the triad of outstanding guitarists, Weiss yields a big payout from all-star saxophonists Myron ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richie Cole Alto Madness Orchestra: The Many Minds of Richie Cole

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Alto saxophonist Richie Cole is a living, breathing anachronism and has arguably been one since he first burst out of Berklee School of Music onto the stage as featured soloist with the Buddy Rich big band in the 1970's. While many of his contemporaries were following the lead of Chuck Berry and The Beatles, Cole was enamored of the music of Charlie Parker and Bird's early disciples like Phil Woods and Cannonball Adderley. Since then he ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vossajazz 2017

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Vossajazz 2017 Various Venues Voss, Norway April 7-9, 2017 Some places punch above their weight. Voss is one. With just 14,000 inhabitants, this small Norwegian town in the county of Hordaland, can boast a world-renowned sky-diving training centre, the country's foremost folk music academy, one of the best wine cellars in Scandinavia and, in Vossajazz, an outstanding international music festival that offers so much more than its simple name implies. The jazz part ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Wintz: LifeCycle

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Life cycles mark and determine how we develop, where we travel, and why we arrive and thrive in different places, figuratively and literally, at any given time. That's the point that guitarist Alex Wintz's music makes here, as this project takes its cues from the larger natural theme while growing specifically from his own personal and musical evolution of late. It's a work that couldn't be made at any other moment, as it specifically reflects Wintz as he is today, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake: Right Up On

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Despite having performed with the Flux Quartet since as long ago as 2002, this is actually the first recording of compositions by saxophonist Oliver Lake featuring the Quartet. Lake himself is a septuagenarian of renown having been a founder member of the World Saxophone Quartet and Trio 3 with Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille (whose Time Being album on Intakt is released this year), to name just a couple of examples. Taking his cue more from György Ligeti ...


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